Monday, March 31, 2008

Not-So-Hollow Bunny

Many of you may have seen my husband's post about his long-lost love, the big, fat, solid chocolate bunny of Easter past. (If you haven't seen it, it's TOTALLY worth a read...great post.)We have looked all over, trying to find the right kind of solid bunny. They just don't make them like they used to....really, they don't.

So in order to try to make all his Easter dreams come true, while Cory and Mary were here visiting last weekend, Mary and I formulated a plan. We got the biggest hollow bunny we could find and lopped off its bottom (the actual bottom, not the anatomical bottom). After creating what we thought was the perfect mix of premium chocolate candy-making ingredients, cooling it to what we thought was a proper temperature not to melt the bunny shell, and collecting the proper tools, we commenced filling.

It took alot more than I thought it would to fill that hare. We had trouble seeing what the level of the chocolate was inside. So Maglite came to the rescue.

We did get it filled, and just as we were stopping the chocolate flow, Mr. Hollow No More started to split just slightly and ooze chocolate from his ears. We quickly covered the bottom with plastic wrap to stop the loss of any further chocolate goodness. We scrambled to get him into a supine position and stable, and we hustled him into the fridge. It turned out ok, with only minimal damage done, and the bunny was still intact. He stayed in the fridge, hidden--which was no small feat, such a long horizontal rabbit--until Easter morning.

We put him back in his box and presented him to M.
I thought we'd done a pretty darn good job of creating this almost perfect, close to 2-pound bunny, ready for gnawing enjoyment. M was impressed, I think. It's hard to tell. I can tell you he hasn't yet eaten any of it, choosing to go with some of the other bunnies that people graciously got for him. Apparently, he's worried he won't like the chocolate that we chose to fill it with and then I'll be all offended due to putting so much work and thought into it. He's kind of right, but yet, if he doesn't like the chocolate, I'm sure there are others who would be more than willing to share the responsibility of consuming this yummy bunny.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Round trip: 650 miles

What a crazy trip this was! And what a rude way to introduce Zoey to our road trip adventures! No, we didn't have any legal problems, auto breakdowns, or accidents. It was just kind of a comedy of errors for 36 hours straight. I will spare you the details of all the little frustrations. Be very glad.

We started out at 9 am on Wednesday, stopped at one of my offices on the way out of our area so I could take care of an install that needed to be done, and headed to St. Louis. Braska had her blood drawn at Children's (not even flinching, no tear, no pout, no whimper...amazing), we had some good taco salads in the cafeteria, found out we'd not be seeing the dietician as hoped, and moved on. At St. John's, we got Braska's back-up pair of glasses and had her main pair repaired, complete with new ear pieces for a better fit. Then we headed out to Lake St. Louis for a quick stop at my brother's house and a hug for Braska from Auntie Skye. We took off for Columbia, Missouri, where we first went to see long-lost friend Jessie and her very new baby Lillie. She has inherited Braska's wardrobe, or the vast majority of it, anyway. It was great to get to see them and her parents (they went to college with my parents), but it was a short visit. We then headed up the road about a mile to Justin and Julie's house to meet also-new baby Millie. (Small world, two families, both friends of mine, don't know each other, but live that close with new baby girls named Millie and Lillie...gonna have to set up a meet-up!) Macie and Morgan were pretty happy to see Braska too. We had dinner there, visited a bit, took a great pic with all the girls (see Braska's blog for that pic in a few days) and then left to go to the hotel.

Unfortunately, the hotel I had my eye on was full, so was the second, and I chose poorly for the third. It was not a pleasant stay, but it provided a bed and a roof. Holes in the comforter and towels....just not acceptable! We left in the morning after I'd had a chance to get some work-work done, stopped in St. Louis for lunch, and made it home by 5pm on Thursday. Long trip, short time. I could NOT have done it without Zoey in the back with Braska to help keep her happy and continually replace the glasses on her little nose. She endured meeting a whole lot of people that she didn't know, listening to a whole lot of conversation that she probably didn't care about, and driving a little over 10 hours in two days. You rock, Zoey!! on the lookout for a giveaway here very soon. Hint: They are cute, cozy, and have the initials BL. Stay tuned!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Quick list

~We had a great Easter...friends Cory and Mary came to visit! The first time we've ever had friends come from far away to JUST visit us (mostly...there were a couple other lucky people to get to see them.) We felt very very special!

~We're headed to St. Louis in about 10 minutes. Picking up glasses, doing labwork, maybe seeing the nutritionist, and making a quick jump to Columbia for a drop off of Braska's too-small clothes and meeting two new babies...Lillie and Millie...not twins, both friends of ours, but they don't know each other. And they live like a mile apart! We'll have to orchestrate a meet-up!

~I have so many post ideas I want to deal with, but I'm even worse with time lately than ever! Maybe when I get a chance to be home for more than 10 days straight!

~And the best news....I've found a little "travel assistant" named Zoey who is a total God-send! She's traveling with us to help occupy Braska in the car and give me extra hands and smarts along the way. She's a peach of a 13-year-old, and I'm SO thrilled with the arrangement. Thanks to Karen K for the big connection. :o)

Have a great day!! What's on YOUR schedule?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Random Questions, Round 6

The Random Questions process
~Choose one or all of the questions to answer.
~Either respond with a comment to this post with your answer or put up a post on your own blog for a full response.
~Don't forget to include any funny or interesting story to illustrate your answer in action.
~Be sure to leave a comment on this post to let us know where to find your post so we can come check it out!

Round 6-- Truly random!! I've just got some weird stuff bouncing around in my head today, so enjoy!

1. How's your closet? Do you use all the same kind of hangers? Wire, plastic, or wood? Do you hang everything in the same direction, like all shirts facing the same way?

2. Are you a channel flipper or a commercial watcher? OR do you get up and do a quick task during commercials? OR are you a DVR addict who never watches a commercial because you never watch shows as they actually air?

3. Have you ever looked at your house after a holiday and truly debated just packing a suitcase and walking away?

4. How do you keep your kids, especially the under 2 crowd, calm during long road trips? Ever considered a "travel nanny"?

5. Do you notice typos in other blogs, articles, or even handwritten notes or cards? Or let your brain skim the text for the concept and skip the details of spelling and grammar?


1. I like things facing the same way. I use mostly plastic hangers, and I prefer the heavy-duty ones. At one time, I had only white and green, to match my bedroom decor, but that's fallen by the wayside a while back. Now, in Braska's closet, she does have white, red, and yellow, matching her nursery colors. All dresses, shirts, etc, face the left in our closets. And I organize things from left to right with tank tops, short sleeves, long sleeves, button down, dresses, and then pants, as far as my part of the closet goes.

2. We are DVR addicts in our house. Rarely do we watch anything that's not recorded. So we fast-forward through all commercials. When we watch TV at friend or family houses without DVR, we feel a little lost. It's amazing how much we get spoiled by being able to pause and rewind whenever we miss something or need to run for a diaper change.

3. Yes, this morning. It's really, really bad. I've no motivation today either!

4. I'm looking for to ideas. I actually am actively talking to a possible travel buddy for Braska and to assist me in the whole process. She comes very highly recommended!!Braska's been so great for all these many trips, but she's not so happy to just sit for 3 hours anymore. I need more hands and a longer reach.

5. I am the worst at "auto-editing," as I call it. I constantly review and fix errors in my head when I'm reading articles, blog posts, and even birthday cards! And if I catch a typo in my own posts, I must fix it immediately, no matter what I'm in the middle of. Editing is part of my job, so it's just in my blood these days. I do feel a little petty when I'm noticing little things in other blog posts. But it's hard not to's just so *there*!

Wow...I'm finding that these questions sure bare some of my neuroses!! Help me out...tell me I'm not the only one!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Crisis averted

This past weekend, my parents were here along with two of my sisters and one brother. We played some games, Mom spent lots of time with Braska working on eating, as she has lots of patience with such things, and a good time was had, at some point, by all.

While we were playing a game on Saturday night, Mom was getting Braska fed and ready for bed. She got her settled in bed and came out to clean her glasses from the constantly sticky smeared state they are generally in. Suddenly there is an "uh-oh" that comes from the kitchen. I knew she was cleaning the glasses and I just instantly dropped my head, chin to chest, and began to plan my packing plan for another trip to StL pronto. She came into the family room where we were and showed that one of the nose pads had come off, and the absolutely ridiculously tiny screw that was supposed to hold it in was missing. It apparently fell out while she was rinsing them over the sink, and as it wasn't visible in the sink, we knew it had ventured into garbage disposal land. I asked where we could get another screw, and it was quickly decided that this was doable. Ok, good. But no, that's not the end. My mother is never one to concede to a situation just because it seems unpleasant or difficult, so in less than a minute, she pops up from the sink area again, with absolutely ridiculously tiny screw in between her fingers, retrieved from the garbage disposal. Huh?!? Reaching in to the garbage disposal and coming out with a miniscule screw by feel only. Crazy. Good for us, but just crazy that she can do it!

Here's the full set, unassembled.

Thankfully, my dad had a glasses repair set with him, complete with tiny screwdriver. Good timing that they were here, I guess.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Patience lessons

There's so much I want to say about this, but I'm so tired. This has been such a challenging week for me, and yet, I maintained pretty well through it all. I look back at the post from earlier in the week and I sounded more frustrated than I felt, and that's strange to me. I don't want to sound like a complainer. This morning I thought out loud that maybe I'm supposed to be learning some about patience this week since it's been all about waiting. And I'm still waiting...

To recap, we went to StL on Sunday night to get a jump on getting Braska's glasses repaired or replaced on Monday. Then Monday was spent calling the doctor's office and waiting for a return call that didn't come. Tuesday we went to the doctor's office, went to the optical store, and went home to the in-laws' to wait until the replacement pieces (temples) came in on Thursday. Tuesday night I waited most all night for Braska to fall asleep and therefore waited most all night for sleep myself. Wednesday we were just waiting for Thursday. Thursday we got up, packed, went to the GI office, waited 40 minutes to see him (when I've never waited more than 3 minutes before--and we were the first appointment after lunch), then went to the cafeteria to wait until the optical store called to tell us the temples were in. After some lunch and another phone call to check on the temples, we went home to the in-laws again to wait for the next phone call. There was no phone call, so we settled in to wait until Friday.

That brings us to this morning... we got up, packed up, and waited for the phone call to say "they're here!" so we could pick up the new temples, get the glasses to finally fit properly again, and head home. And we waited. In the meantime, mom-in-law was heading to the hair salon and since I was due for a touch up and had time to spare, Braska and I came along. When we arrived, there was a training session going on inside, so we waited in the car since the door was locked. Once the touch-up was ready to process, I waited for the little bell to go off telling the stylist it was time to rinse. When all was done and paid for (ouch!), we went back home to wait for the call once again. I got tired of waiting, so I called and waited on hold while they checked on things. Then she told me that they would be in next week. I explained that Terry had told me they would be in Thurs or Fri at the latest, so she said she'd have Terry call me back. So I waited for Terry's call. BUT while I was waiting, I decided it was time to give up on waiting, so we packed up the car and the kid, and I headed home. About 30 mins into the trip, Terry called back saying it would, in fact, be next week, and he was apologetic for the confusion and wrong info he'd given me. Good thing we have the temporary pieces on the glasses!

Once we got home, I headed to do a quick babysitting visit with Maddy and Gracie, then left to head home and pick up dinner on the way. I decided on Taco Bell for some reason, pulled into the drive-thru, and waited 10 mins without even getting to the ordering spot. So when given the opportunity to get out, I backed out of the lane and raced through KFC down the road. When I returned back by Taco Bell on the way home, the car in front of me was still in line.

I always try to look for the lessons in what I'm experiencing. Sometimes I don't have the right attitude about what the situation might be trying to teach me, sometimes the lesson has been overshadowed by the extreme pain and disappointment caused by the situation, and sometimes the lesson has been clear and I've accepted it right away. I can only assume that one of the lessons of this week of unplanned travel and frustration has been that I'm not the boss of me or anyone else. I don't rule the world and everyone in it. I am at the mercy of those around me far more than I'd like to admit. And sometimes, I just have to wait. That's life. Lesson learned.

Now I wait for the call that the temples and the glasses are in, then I drive back to StL to get them. In the meantime, I'm waiting for someone to call with a job offer in StL for us...

Random Questions, Round 5

The Random Questions process
~Choose one or all of the questions to answer.
~Either respond with a comment to this post with your answer or put up a post on your own blog for a full response.
~Don't forget to include any funny or interesting story to illustrate your answer in action.
~Be sure to leave a comment on this post to let us know where to find your post so we can come check it out!

Round 5--Travel! It's almost springtime, and we're all thinking about where we'd like to go for a little R & R.

1. Do you prefer traveling by car, train, plane, or boat?

2. Are family vacations or yearly vacations of some kind a part of your regular schedule? Where are some places you've gone?

3. What's your favorite travel memory? Maybe a trip as a kid, road trip in college, honeymoon? Could be good OR bad...

4. Have you ever traveled in the back seat of a station wagon, like the old kind that faced backward?

5. Where to you hope to go this year or the next chance you get?

1. I prefer to travel by car if the trip is less than about 6 hours. BUT I like to have company to chat with and keep me alert. Most of the time I am the one driving in our family, and M is usually sleeping. So that kind of driving for hours is less fun. If it's a farther trip, I like to fly. BUT only if there are no weather issues in any area I'll be flying to, from, or through. I really HATE turbulence. I've never traveled by boat, but I'd love to take a short cruise someday. And I've never traveled by train, except the Metro system in St. Louis and the MRT system in Singapore.

2. We didn't take family vacations, at least I don't call them that. As a kid, I don't ever remember going somewhere just to go there for fun. It was always a family visit, a church event, or some other ulterior reason. I'd really like to make true family vacations a part of Braska's life, but we will have to try to convince her dad that it's a good idea.

3. Favorite travel memories? I really enjoyed my trip to Singapore for a month in 1995. Traveled across the world by myself...very interesting. Learned alot, would LOVE to go back to show somebody how truly beautiful and amazing that place is! And then there was the road trip with my friend Angie in college. It was a spring break trip in 1993 maybe? I can't remember for sure. We got in her little red truck and headed out from St. Louis. We spent a few days in Hot Springs, Arkansas ( one of my FAVE places...lived there for 5 years and really love going back), then went on to her mother's place in TX, played around in Dallas some, came back through Oklahoma (although I don't remember why), and had an all around blast.

4. Yep, I've been that kid watching the back of all the road signs. I remember the awkward moments of staring at the people in the car behind us in traffic. And I remember being a bit nauseous at the whole driving backward situation. Good times.

5. I hope to go somewhere. I just want to go, as a family, to a place where we just are to have fun, see something new, and create memories. I'd love to go back to Hot Springs again, haven't been there for years. Here's hoping...

Alright...let's hear it. Dig deep into that memory vault. We might be able to all come to a conclusion of a place to meet for one big blogging vacation!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

One more sleep

As my friend Kari at Chanelle and Tristan likes to measure things by how many sleeps are left before something happens, it appears that we have one more sleep til we go home. The temples for her glasses didn't come in today, at least when I called for the third time this afternoon to check before coming back to the house from Children's, they still weren't in.

So here we are again, one more night. Thank the Lord for in-laws willing to share their empty nest with open arms. They might not admit it, but it's only because Braska's with me.

Sweet sleep

A full night of sleep is a beautiful thing. Man, I'm so spoiled with this usually good sleeper kid I have. Last night was back to the norm, down peacefully and out for the night. And that was both of us, thank goodness.

Today we head to the GI for a g-button check-up and then check in to see if the parts for her glasses are in. If they are, we're done with this trip to StL. I'm really praying we get to go home today. I'm ready to be home.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sit and stay sans dog

Braska's sick. If you're up to date on her blog, you probably got the message.

I don't know how people do it that have lots of sicknesses and issues that mess with the kid's sleep patterns! The norm for this kiddo of mine is that we have the night-night routine, p-jammies, kisses to Daddy, thank you prayers for all our blessings, and then I simply put her in bed and she's still and out within minutes. That's how it's been every night since she was about 2 months. Sure, there was the period in there between 2 and 3 months when we still had to do feedings at night via the NG, but she didn't wake up for those. We've been sleeping peacefully through the night at our house since immediately after surgery at 3 months. I know that's a HUGE blessing and not the norm, from what I hear, but I like it alot.

Last night I put her down in the normal manner here at the in-laws' place, in her pack n'play that she always sleeps in here. She went down and went to sleep. About 30 minutes later, she's crying. Now, I admit this has happened maybe 5 or 6 times randomly over the last year, but it's quick, she's easily calmed, and back to sleep she goes. Last night, it wasn't so easy. She went back down, but then was up again in another 15 minutes and then 15 after that. At one point she had a messy diaper, which is very weird at night--plus she'd already gone once and that's above average in a day--so I wondered about it, but she went back down. The next time, I just calmed her, then picked her up and held her while she went back to sleep. From that time on, she slept on me when she slept. I tried to put her down a few times when I thought she was good and out, but she woke immediately and squirmed around strangely so I picked her up again so as not to wake the grandparents.

So there I was, in the middle of the night, propped up in bed holding a lightly sleeping, very restless little girl. As long as I stayed very still, she did alright for 30 to 40 minutes at a time, and in a few of those, I think I dozed off, but I am famous for waking at every movement of hers, even when she's in the next room. You can see how that might make sleeping in this situation difficult. Unfortunately, I'd enjoyed a few too many Caffeine Free Diet Cokes last evening, so I had to get up twice to use the bathroom while not setting her down. I'm so glad it was pitch black, because seeing the whole things would have been disturbing for me, I think. But she managed to stay calm, even though she woke up, as long as she was plastered up against me. What a multitasker I have become!

I decided to try to give her a little bit of warm food in her tube at about 4am, thinking it might settle her and help her calm down. That whole transition resulted in a screaming fit that brought Grandma out to check on us. I was debating taking Braska to the ER at that point, as her fever was definitely the highest I'd ever known of, even though our silly thermometer that I carry wasn't working right. She was hot, that was obvious. Grandma C graciously offered to sit up with her and hold her while she slept so I could try to get a bit of sleep. I do NOT function well at all on no sleep, and although I was afraid I wouldn't be able to turn off my brain, I decided to try to sleep and let her sleep to see if things improved with a little more time. Of course I'd forgotten to bring the Tylenol along for her. Figures.

This morning I sat up quick at 7 am, a little surprised I'd slept, but feeling a little better. Braska had slept the whole time on Grandma, and though she still felt warm, it didn't seem as high. I jumped in the shower and dashed up to Walgreens to pick up some Pedialyte and Tylenol for her. I gave her a dose and she's been sleeping still ever since. I hope she can just sleep it off, but I don't like this at all. It just feels so helpless. I don't like not knowing what exactly needs to be done to fix things. I know in the grand scheme of things, this isn't the end of the world, but it's no fun, that's for sure.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A more successful day

If you're in a went better than yesterday. Thank you, God! Braska's take on things, complete with pics, will be up later today when she gets up from her nap and is ready to tell her story.

For you detail addicts... We got up, fed, dressed, and headed out for the 40 min drive to Children's. On the way, I debated, sometimes outloud with myself, whether or not to call again to tell them I was coming. I weighed the element of surprise with catching a possible open appointment slot if I talked to them first thing. I decided to call for an appointment, so I did, and waited on hold for just long enough to change my mind. Then I called back, bypassed the appointment option, and got a hold of Debbie, the same girl I talked to twice yesterday. I told her I hadn't gotten a call back, and that I really needed Braska to be seen today, so I was already on my way. I told her I would see whoever was free if Dr. S wasn't available. She said calmly that Dr. S had some open spots, so we could get in soon. YAY!

We got there, checked in, sat down in the totally empty waiting room. I've never seen that waiting room empty. Dr. S had a new doc or resident working with him, so he did his thing first with Dr. S watching and such. Braska tolerated things pretty well sitting on my lap while they fumbled with her. They were trying to see if they could catch her left eye crossing like it has been with the glasses on, but since they're broken, they don't sit right and she kept grabbing at them. But in the end, the decision was that her esotropia (turning inward) is not actually worse, that what we're seeing is more a symptom of her nystagmus (wiggly eyes) when she tries to focus or strain. The bottom line...she doesn't need a new prescription at this time, we just have to watch her to see that this issue remains intermittent, not becoming constant. I thanked him for getting her in, to which he responded that it was good that we came in since it was helpful to be able to see what was happening instead of trying to disuss and describe it. Just wish I'd have done it yesterday morning, but ah well...doesn't matter at this point.

We then moved on to the next eye center. (Why two? Children's is a medical eye center and they treat and operate, etc, including prescribing glasses, but they don't have an optical center to actually get the glasses. So we go to St. John's Eye Center, which is NOT a medical eye center, just an optical center....yeah, confusing. Only like 7 places in the country specialize in infant eyewear, and this is one of them.) Going from one to the other used to be super simple, straight down the highway about 8 miles or so. But no more...Hwy 40/64 is now closed for the year, so it takes some more scenic routes to get there. That's ok though, I get to gaze at the multi-million dollar homes of Ladue as I cut through.

The people at St. John's have been great from the beginning. In less than three months, we've been there 9 times from the initial order to pick-up and fitting to umpteen adjustments, going every time we're in town. Last time, we had Terry work with us, and he was great. Luckily, this time he got us again, and was again so helpful and nice. He found a spare temple piece of the same pink color that he could finagle to get to work so that we have something to hold us over until we get the new pieces in to replace these. They should be in Thurs or Fri this week. And after talking to M about it, we decided to order a back-up pair so that we wouldn't be so frazzled and hurried about everything for the next time she breaks them...and I'm sure there WILL be a next time. The best part is that all this is covered by the warranty, except the back-up pair, of course, so no money needed to repair the break! VERY good!

So we were all done by about noon today, and it was pretty painless. I'm choosing to accept that things were just supposed to happen today and not yesterday, for whatever reason. Who knows what accident we avoided or long wait we'd have endured or rude person we'd have encountered... I just can't control everything, and I have to learn to accept that I'm not the one with the best plans.

Now we looks like my jaunt to Columbia will have to wait, as I've got work to catch up on and my friend is pretty busy, so Braska and I will just be hanging out for a couple days until Thursday afternoon when we head back to Children's for the GI appointment and to St. John's again for the glasses. Then we'll head home either Thursday or Friday. *sigh* It seems like so far away!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hurry up and wait

If you haven't seen Braska's admission, the girl is in the princess dog house for breaking her glasses.

So last night we got to my in-laws' house (St. Louis) at about 9pm. The idea was to be here in town so that we could either be seen by the optometrist to get an updated prescription or get the ok from him to go ahead and get a new pair of glasses with the same one. The reason the prescription is in doubt is that she has been crossing even with her glasses on over the past 10 days or so. This has been described as an indication that her prescription might need to be updated. So I was planning on trying to see them this Thursday when we were already scheduled to be at the hospital for appointments. Her disabling of the glasses simply exacerbated the need for an appointment, or at the very least, phone contact.

This morning we got up, I called the Eye Center at 9 am, left a message for Dr. S, the optometrist we saw two weeks ago. I wanted to know if he had done an exam that day (I can't really remember the extent of his exam.) to confirm her prescription or if he had just looked to see if the glasses were working like they wanted. The girl took the message and said he'd call back. I called back at 12:30pm, talked to the same girl, expressed my concern once again, explained why I wanted the info--needing to know if we should get a new pair with different prescription or new/repaired pair with same prescription--and asked what his hours were today. She said he was there all day, that she'd given him the note and Braska's chart that morning, and that he might not call back til after his last patient at 3pm, but he would probably be there til 4:30 or 5pm. I was polite and stated again that I didn't want to be a pain, but I really needed to get going on all this. She said she would try to follow up with him on it.

At 4:18pm I looked at the clock, and I told my mother-in-law I would wait til 4:30, so as not to be a bother to them, waiting but still catching them just before they go home. I called right at 4:30pm, on the dot. And of course....they close at 4:30pm, so the phones are already flipped to the recording. Can you say grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr? I was less than pleased, let's just say.

I waited less than patiently til 5pm, thinking maybe he's finishing up after getting done. It happens in my offices, it might be the case here. But no, no call came. I'm kicking myself that I didn't just show up at the office this morning to be seen or at least get a message in person. I'm kicking myself that I didn't at least request a same-day appointment when I talked to them this morning, knowing I could get what I needed that way. These are things I know to job is to know how medical offices work, for heaven's sake! I don't know where my brain was. I just waited and fumed.

So tomorrow, we get up early, drive to the hospital, and sit at the Eye Center till I get what I need. My luck he won't be in on Tuesdays, but that's ok. Someone else can look at the chart and tell me what I need, and I'm sure one of the other optometrists or ophthalmologists can tell me what her current prescriptions should be if it comes to that. I hate having to do this...I can't stand these patients when I'm on the other end. But it's come to that. I'm frustrated, and Braska obviously can't see well without her glasses. She's been rubbing her eyes all day. I put a gauze wrap around the broken end of the ear piece to try to make them somewhat usable, but they don't sit right and she didn't keep them on for long between tosses. I don't blame her, they can't be comfortable that way.

Once we've determined what the correct prescription for right now is, we will go to the other eye center, where we get the tiny glasses ordered or repaired to take the next step. Then we wait 7 to 10 days for the repair or the new pair, so I can drive the 6-hour round trip one more time. In the meantime, I just wish we could rig something to help her see things without straining. Here's hoping that I can accomplish what I need to tomorrow without losing my cool. I think I can, I just wish I'd have been more with it today!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Random Questions, Round 4

The Random Questions process
~Choose one or all of the questions to answer.
~Either respond with a comment to this post with your answer or put up a post on your own blog for a full response.
~Don't forget to include any funny or interesting story to illustrate your answer in action.
~Be sure to leave a comment on this post to let us know where to find your post so we can come check it out!

Round 4--Media--How reliant are we? Make sure you don't miss #6.

1. How many TVs are in your home? All hooked up to cable/dish/etc? Have you gone HD?

2. Do you have any VCRs in your house still or are you full DVD?

3. How many computers are in your house? All hooked up to the internet? How many video game systems (i.e. XBOX, Wii, etc.)?

4. What age is ok to have a TV/computer/game system in the child's bedroom?

5. Do you have DVD players in the car?

6. The big one.... Would you be able to take a media/technology break, like a day without? How long could you do it?

1. We have 4 TVs (2 living rooms, 1 in the office, 1 in Braska's room...see #4 for more on that), all hooked to cable, but only two have DVR boxes with extended digital cable. M's big TV has the HD action, and admittedly, we are quite happy about that.

2. I have a VCR still hooked up, with the DVD, in my living room. I'm surprised at how I do occasionally still use it... but it's rare. Otherwise, we're all DVD in the other rooms.

3. We have M's desktop computer in his room, my laptop in the office, and he has two work laptops as well that are sometimes here. We're on wireless internet in the house, so they all have it. The only time there's not a computer on is when we're sleeping. We don't have any game systems, although there is a borrowed Nintendo (old school) here occasionally.

4. Even though Braska has a TV in her room, she won't have one as she gets older. The reason she has one is that her room/nursery used to be my office. I had a TV on a wall in there that we just didn't take down. It's rarely used, unless I'm working in there on packing or reorganizing or something, then we throw on her favorite channel...Food Network. It's amazing, but she really does like it. A kid that won't eat loves Food Network....too funny. As far as I'm concerned, she will not have her own TV or computer in her room until she is at least in high school, that is, for the TV. She won't have a computer in her room at all, at least not with accessible internet. All internet usage will be in a common area of the house. But then again, we've got a decade or so to deal with that. Who knows what technology will be like then. :o)

5. We don't have DVD player in the car, but I'm thinking about it as she gets older. We do so many of these trips to St. Louis, 3 hours each way. I can see how it will be helpful as she gets more active and wanting to get out of that car seat.

6. I've been thinking alot about this. I work on my computer, make my living with the internet and computer, so that would be an issue, but I've still been considering it for a short time, maybe a weekend. I think it would be so good for us as a family to try to survive and interact with each other without all these devices. I probably should wait til the weather makes it more ok to do things outside or around town. I'm guessing my husband might not be on board with it, though. Maybe I'll ask...

Share your thoughts...I love hearing the other perspectives!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Insurance issues

I had a big long post about this, but then I realized not everyone cares or knows the lingo, so I'll try again to be straight and simple. (Yes, this is the short version.)

We found out this week that our health insurance will be changing by the end of this month. Not because we want it to, and not for the better. M's employer has recently merged (supposedly, although it's more like an acquisition) and unpleasant changes abound. We've been SO blessed by the coverage provided through this job over the past few years, and I'm thankful for that. It's just really unfortunate that the positives of the job are starting to be outweighed by the frustrations.

In our area, there are two options for health care and insurance pretty much. If you have Insurance #1, you go to hospital/health system A. If you have Insurance #2, you go to hospital/health system B. I've never seen anything like it, in all my years working in medicine. I've worked in both systems here, and I prefer Insurance #2 with system B. That's what we've had for the past several years. Now we'll have no choice any longer, we will have to go with Insurance #1 and system A. It's not that system A is's very well known and highly regarded by many. It's just big and bureaucratic and views patients as numbers, literally...they ask for your "clinic number" constantly. I have connections and in-roads to system B, and that affords us great care on a personal level with lots of perks. It'll be very hard to see that go.

The big problem, beside having to change doctors for me and M, is that Insurance #1 will not cover us going to Children's where all Braska's specialists are and where we have purposefully centralized her care. It does have some out-of-network benefits, but it will be significantly more expensive to continue with our doctors there. Whereas now we go, pay no copay for specialists, and have the visits covered at 100%, we'll be required to pay either 35% or 50% of every visit and service. We'll still do it...I'm not changing her doctors now, when we've established and finally have a good rapport and groove worked with all of them. We will just have to plan very carefully in order to pay more out of pocket for healthcare.

It's just such a bummer, that although the amount we pay per pay period for the coverage goes down just barely, our coverage changes significantly toward the negative. The amount we are required to pay, even before the issue of Braska's specialists, will be greatly higher overall. I'm appreciative of having the availability of coverage, don't misunderstand. It's just hard to see a good thing go away.

To end on, I'll give some stats that I think are plain amazing...
Since Braska's birth, including the birth/delivery charges, her medical claims total just under $400,000. We have paid just under $10,000 for our part of those services, and the large majority of that has been covered by Braska's benefit fund. So once again, let me just say THANK YOU SO MUCH to all you wonderful people, family, friends, and many who we've never met, who have given so generously. We know that God has provided for us through your willingness to share.

We'll figure it all out. We're meeting with Jim, our beloved financial advisor, next week to get everything in order to prepare for the change. It'll all be ok. It's just frustrating to have to make this kind of adjustment.

Have I mentioned that I'd love to just cut and run to the city?! Dream on, RK, dream on.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Happy Hermit

I realized today that I have not been outside of the walls of this house since Tuesday night last week when I got home not feeling well. That's almost a full 7 days inside. times have changed around here. The fact that it doesn't so much bother me is a whole other story. Granted, 4 days of that I was in bed, so maybe that makes a difference.

Just to show I can still put on shoes--slip-on, nothing too challenging just yet-- I took mail to the mailbox in the midst of our current snowstorm. Check me out with my adventurous bad self.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Random Questions, Round 3

The Random Questions process

~Choose one or all of the questions to answer.
~Either respond with a comment to this post with your answer or put up a post on your own blog for a full response.
~Don't forget to include any funny or interesting story to illustrate your answer in action.
~Be sure to leave a comment on this post to let us know where to find your post so we can come check it out!

This round is focused on home life. I always find myself very interested in what others do when they're not "doing" anything. Weird? Maybe...but there's a reason reality shows are so darn popular!

1. What happens at your house in a given weekday evening? Who’s doing what? (Mom, Dad, and kids--together or separate.)

2. How are the chores divided up in your house? Who does what when it comes to laundry, cooking, cleaning, yard work?

3. How often do you have time with you just you and a spouse, even just a little time here or there? What do you do with that time--talk, work, plan, read, etc? (PG rated, please. HA!)

4. Compared to what you thought it would be like 10 years ago, would you say life in your home is...
~Nothing like you thought it would be.
~Kind of like you thought it would be.
~Exactly like you thought it would be.
~Better than you thought it would be.
As for my answers...
1. M is at his computer as soon as he's changed into comfy clothes until he goes to bed, often after me. Sometimes there are a few minutes of family floor time with Braska before we all go to our corners. Braska and I hang in the kitchen pretending to cook and then we sometimes sit in M's room to watch a show or two from the DVR in there. Then she and I go back to our living room to catch some DVR shows there or to the office so I can work while she plays. Three nights a week M is out geek-gaming with the guys, so on those nights Braska and I just extend the work day til bedtime.

2. On the chores list, my name seems to be by them all. But in all fairness, M has been better (occasionally) lately about unloading the dishwasher or doing a load of laundry. And he does take the trash can to the street on Wednesdays most times too. Lawn and pool care are mine unless I hire out the lawn. Mostly chores just wait....alot.

3. I almost didn't ask this so as not to have to answer it, but I wanted to hear what others do. We don't have any "couple" time really. And if we do, he's usually still at his desk and I'm on the couch as we watch a show or something. We watch alot of TV. We don't talk or so much *do* anything together, but sometimes we do exist in the same room for a few minutes...but that's an improvement in many ways, I suppose.

4. This is nothing like I thought it would be. Nothing like I hope it will be. I still dream about what it'll be like when we grow up and learn to be a family...working together, projects, fun, sharing, learning, and such. Putting our time together first. We'll get there... someday we'll get there.

So spill it...what's it like in your home??

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Back from the gross side

I'm feeling some better. A good 96 hours of a "24-hour" stomach flu. NEVER have I experienced such a thing! I'm still not brave enough to leave the house, but at least I got to hug my baby precious today! She didn't even miss me. Hrrmmmph!

You guys have been too nice with all the well wishes and flowers and cards!!! Ok, so maybe I'm still delirious...I think the flowers and cards were just in my head... I'm not really eating yet, so ya know...blood sugar issues affect the brain.

I'll be back very soon with Round 3 of Random Questions. Get ready and stay tuned!